“Good Bad” Commodus: Why and How the Image of Marcus Aurelius Heir Changed
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“Good Bad” Commodus: Why and How the Image of Marcus Aurelius Heir Changed
Annotation
PII
S207987840001643-6-1
DOI
10.18254/S0001643-6-2
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Ivan Nikolsky 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS, School of Public Policy, Russian Presidental Academy (RANEPA)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract
The article deals with the problem of evolution of the image of the Roman emperor Commodus (180—192) in late antique and early medieval sources — in the context of changes, which happened in the political life and ideology of the epoch of decline and decay of the Roman Empire and of the first barbarian kingdoms in Europe and in North Africa. The focus is on the question, why after the several centuries of unanimous incessant condemning (p. e. texts of the 2nd — of the 4th century, works by Herodian, Dio Cassius, Aurelius Victor, SHA), which formed for Commodus a reputation of one of the most odious rulers of Rome, he suddenly appears — now as the good example to be followed — in the texts of the 5th — 7th century. (Dracontius, John Malalas, Eugene of Toledo). The explanations, which exist in modern literature on this subject, are assessed. The emphasis is made on the analysis of the work by Dracontius, Satisfactio (Satisfaction), which can be estimated as the turning point in the fate of Commodus as a literary character. The main conclusion is that this turning point was the result of the changes in the political landscape, due to which the role of the local traditions in representation of rulers grew rapidly, — and not the result of evolution of the Christian tradition.
Keywords
Commodus, Dio Cassius, Dracontius, Roman Empire, Vandals, Byzantium, John Malalas, Carthage, antiquity, panegyrics
Received
09.01.2017
Publication date
24.04.2017
Number of characters
28656
Number of purchasers
40
Views
6103
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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